Big Foot

Running in nature invites you to get over fears: fear of creatures and of getting lost for example. I have learned to love reading the tracks when I run. This morning on a 9 mile run I ran into this big print. Hummm, not likely a cat as they retract their claws. Too big for a coyote? Not sure, but I'm glad we didn't bump.


Steep Peak - Our Local Wilderness Hike

We have a local Wilderness area that is less than forty miles from our place. It’s called Apache Kid and it’s over 55k acres in size. The only bummer about the place is that the easiest access point is a trailhead that takes you up 3k feet in elevation in less than 5 miles. Today Wendy and I went with Sesame to look for mushrooms at 10k feet.

Steep Peak - Our Local Wilderness Hike #2 Steep Peak - Our Local Wilderness Hike #3

I like the Gummy Shoes - Montrail FluidFlex

After trying a half dozen pairs of trail running shoes I’ve picked a favorite. My Montrail FluidFlex are crazy light, drain water incredibly fast and have just the right amount of gummy cushioning. I picked up a replacement pair for $32 last week. There are two downsides to these. The soles are so soft that they tend to wear out by 300 miles. They also pickup a lot sand/dirt while running to the point that I need to pull the insoles before each outing and really shake them clean. I noticed that that multiple top runners from the Hard Rock 100 are also wearing this specific model of shoe (not the FluidFlex II).


Lazy and Late Prickly Pear Harvet

Happy to score some ripe prickly pear cactus fruit tonight. Some minor trespassing was involved. I used tongs and a cardboard box to harvest the fruit. Just before turning on the $35 steam juicer which efficiently extracts the juice I jabbed each piece with a fork several times.

Lazy and Late Prickly Pear Harvest #2

Jujube to Syrup

Jujube to Syrup by mikey and wendy
Jujube to Syrup, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
Our jujube trees have been cranking out baskets of delicious fruit for weeks. Since we are trying to maintain a pretty low carb diet we needed to do something to preserve the abundance of fruit. We came up with a pretty good solution. Harvest the jujubes when they are ripe, boil them down in the sun oven, remove the fruit and boil down the syrup further, finally dehydrate the remaining fruit for backpacking. Jujube to Syrup #2 Jujube fruit in different stages of processing. Jujube syrup being boiled down.


Where Is Waldo?

Do you recognize the woman in this photo?  It seems that she dropped her SD card in the Huston (Bush) Airport on August 30th. Look closely, do you see the flyer she's waving in the air? It's for a Swap-O-Rama-Rama. That's how the photo got to me. You guessed it. A good samaritan picked up the SD card and looked at the pics for clues. The flyer lead her to me since I'm the founder of Swap-O-Rama-Rama. I have no idea who this girl is but this sure seemed to be a great excuse for a round of where is Waldo. Do you know her? Perhaps someone that you know knows her? Game on.


Pain In The Gut

I've been plagued by reflux for about three years. At first I tried natural remedies and when the symptom went away I returned to life as usual thinking it was over. Hardly. I don't do pharmaceuticals, but a couple of times out of desperation I took a few over the counter pills. Once I read about how they work I stopped. On year three I got serious. Now I understand that solving reflux is complex. It is more than diet. Feeling good is a lifestyle change. Time of day, portions, food combining. . . there are many details. After a year of data mining I came up with a diet. I made many sacrifices and there have been gains. I have more energy, better sleep, lost weight, and my concentration is sharpening. My palette changed too. The sweet potato, carrot and jujube syrup that I make from my jujube tree's fruit taste like candy to me. I find hope that I can handle the likely next step, an ultra low carb diet to address candida, a destructive gut yeast that people with reflux often have too much of.

Meanwhile I this is helpful to you. Feel good!

Make Up - 
high fat (1/3 animal fats 2/3 non animal from things like ghee, olives, avocado, nuts), medium protein, low carb
regarding dairy: eat lots of homemade yogurt but no cheese unless homemade (raw) or goat cheese
moderate citrus, chocolate (bittersweet only)
no grains, wheat, soy, caffeine, refined sugar or processed food, caffeine, or alcohol

Time - 
if in pain upon waking eat oatmeal asap
raw juices before 3pm only
load up on carbs immediately after endurance sports 
after 3pm carbs from veggies only (no fruit) - emphasis on soluble fiber veggies (low intake of non-soluble)
no food of any kind after 7pm 

Amount and Combinations - 
chew everything completely (break down food so acids in belly don't have to)
fruit is always eaten alone (otherwise it ferments in the gut) 
no liquids with meals (dilutes stomach acid needed to break down food)
if you drink alcohol (yeah that's cheating) than dilute it with lots of water so it does not damage the gut too much

Supplements - 

DGL Licorice enzymes (stimulates enzymes, great for immediate symptom relief), goldenseal and milk thistle (bitters to stimulate digestion)

Resource - a web resource that I found helpful is Chris Kessler's site.  

Looking for the Right Box

Sometimes you need to ship a large item that you don't have a box for.

Rain from Hurricane Odile

The weather forecast says rain for 3 days straight. The moisture started coming in this morning so we decided to go for a wet 3 mile dog run. Hurricane Odile moisture in New Mexico


Cross Town Traffic

I may be on my way to being a tracker. I just love examining the prints that show the patterns of life when I'm out running in the desert. The desert sand reveals the tiny to the mammoth, insect, reptile, mammal and yes 4 wheel drive. This little trail, which I found at about 5 miles out from town seems to be well used by a heard of goats. Often a small trail will show a huge variety of tracks in front of it telling me that there are freeways made by creatures living in the wild. The second shot shows the area where I found the trail, you can see we've had some rain as everything is green and feels fresh. I think Mikey's about to post the tree of death, also found in this area. You'll see. . .

Surprise, Your The Cover - Geronimo Trail

This morning, while waiting in a city office for an appointment I perused a rack of brochures and plucked this fold out guide to New Mexico's Geronimo Trail. What surprised me was the cover photo featuring me, Sesame and my friend Kyle. Aww check out Sesame in her backpack.

Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story

PBS has made a film about the life of Noor Inayat Khan who in August of 1943 was the last surviving clandestine radio operator working for the British in Nazi occupied Paris. She was eventually captured and her life was ended in Dachau. The PBS film is the story of her extraordinary courage. The film credits Noor's moral character to the Sufi perspective she held. Her father was Hazrat Inayat Khan the mystic who brought Sufism to the west in 1910, the grandfather of my own teacher Pir Zia Inayat Khan. Noor was Pir Zia's aunt. When we consider current times, a religious war in Gaza, and violence conducted by fundamentalist groups of many faiths, Noor actions are a reminder of what is possible in us. Noor is a Sufi woman with a Muslim name who laid down her life to stand up for the Jews and those destroyed by Nazi brutality.  Enjoy the film. 


Where There Is Water

I hear it is a technique to grow plants around the base of trees. I did so simply because running water around an acre is no small task. Wherever I put a spigot to feed a new tree I make sure to feed plants and shrubs too. It is a funny look, a vacant landscape peppered with bursts of life that look like pom poms, but as the life gets more lush in these wet spots the landscape seems to be filling in. I'm still desperate for shade!

There Is A Tree In The Strawberry Patch

Here in the dry southwest it is a practical miracle that a tree should volunteer to grow. When they do at my house I leave them alone, even if they pop up in my favorite garden bed. This tree and the woody hedge like plant that's paired with it showed up last year. I'm so grateful that I'll move the strawberries and scallions somewhere else.

Too Much Is Not Always A Good Thing

Over the years Mikey and I went back n forth about weather or not we should build new garden beds. My feeling was that we shouldn't.  I knew that I was at the max of what I could maintain. He felt that you can't have too much food growing, which I kind of agree with however, no food grows if you can't maintain the garden. That is what happened. We had so much garden space that when life got hectic we lost control of our beds. An invasion of bermuda grass became unrecoverable. In an effort to get back to a manageable level of bed space we covered over a bed, and will cover several more, hoping that the bermuda grass will give up and next year I will be able to revive these beds.

Yum Non-stop Jujube's

Yum Non-stop Jujube's by mikey and wendy
Yum Non-stop Jujube's, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

It is getting into late summer for us which means lots of apples, jujubes and pomegranates from our fruit trees.


Wrap Skirt Finished

In record time... another wrap skirt. Seriously, this knobby raw silk I'm using from Dharma Trading is crazy soft. I want to live in jumpsuits made from it.


Cool Day For Dying Fabric

I've been waiting for a day cool enough to go outside and dye fabric. I've fallen so in love with a wrap skirt I made last spring that I'm making two more of them.

So Obvious It Is Silly - Garlic Powder

I had many ah ha's when I first moved out to the desert from the city. I remember when I realized that garlic powder was ground dried garlic bulbs. I mean it is kind of obvious. I had been taking things for granted and it just never occurred to me to think about it. I was gleefully surprised at the simplicity. Today I made a batch of garlic powder. Year round I store dried up bulbs in a basket that I keep in the kitchen. When they seem good-n-dry I just toss them into a coffee grinder and presto, it's garlic powder.